Perry Admits the Failure of Prayer

Okay, he didn’t actually admit that. But by renewing a declaration of a drought emergency in the state of Texas, a drought that he has called public prayer rallies to fix, he might as well have. He extended a declaration that he initially issued on July 5, 2011.

“Prolonged dry conditions continue to increase the threat of wildfire across many portions of the state,” the governor’s proclamation said this week. “These drought conditions have reached historic levels and continue to pose an imminent threat to public health, property and the economy.”

But in April 2011, Perry issued a public declaration designating three days of prayer for rain because of those terrible conditions:

WHEREAS, the state of Texas is in the midst of an exceptional drought, with some parts of the state receiving no significant rainfall for almost three months, matching rainfall deficit records dating back to the 1930s; and

WHEREAS, a combination of higher than normal temperatures, low precipitation and low relative humidity has caused an extreme fire danger over most of the State, sparking more than 8,000 wildfires which have cost several lives, engulfed more than 1.8 million acres of land and destroyed almost 400 homes, causing me to issue an ongoing disaster declaration since December of last year; and

WHEREAS, these dire conditions have caused agricultural crops to fail, lake and reservoir levels to fall and cattle and livestock to struggle under intense stress, imposing a tremendous financial and emotional toll on our land and our people; and

WHEREAS, throughout our history, both as a state and as individuals, Texans have been strengthened, assured and lifted up through prayer; it seems right and fitting that the people of Texas should join together in prayer to humbly seek an end to this devastating drought and these dangerous wildfires;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on those days for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal way of life.

And in August 2011, he famously took part in that huge prayer rally at a stadium in Houston, again praying for an end to the drought. And here we are two years later and nothing has changed. Of course, they’ll never admit that this means their prayers didn’t work, but that should be obvious to anyone paying attention. Maybe they should stop praying and start working to pass policies to arrest global climate change. But no, they’d rather do rain dances or throw salt over their shoulder. Prayer — it’s literally the least you can do.

"CA wants to classify coffee a possible carcinogen.Public health decisions often involve a trade off. ..."

Pruitt May Have Been Poisoned by ..."
"Very plausible, but still irresponsible."

Trump Doesn’t Understand Economics, Part 1847
"This is my "shocked quartz" face: https://uploads.disquscdn.c..."

Pruitt May Have Been Poisoned by ..."
"Don't gloat too much. I live in California. CA wants to classify coffee a possible ..."

Pruitt May Have Been Poisoned by ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • It doesn’t work that way.

    You pray for drought relief.

    If the drought ends, your prayer was answered.

    If the drought continues, then you need to pray harder.

    “Prayer failed” is never an allowable option.

    I’m just explaining how the system is alleged to work (or not work).

  • So neither prayer nor carbon emissions affect the weather [/snark]

  • he famously took part in that huge prayer rally at a stadium in Houston, again praying for an end to the drought

    And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

  • Moggie

    God always answers prayers. But sometimes the answer is “fuck you, Goodhair”.

  • I cannot wrap my head around how such people are in positions of power. It’d be like hiring someone to solve the problems of the State, whose arsenal of problem-solving skills consists solely of sprinkling fairy dust (which turns out to just be glitter) on things.

    There. Solved!

  • John Pieret

    Look, God has a lot of things to do and, frankly, he’s getting on in years. He’s not moving as fast as he once did and his hearing is kinda bad, so you just have to pray louder and longer and hope he doesn’t tell you to get off his lawn.

  • Big Boppa


    How can you say that their prayers didn’t work?

    Remember, we’re talking about a god who punishes teh gays in San Fransisco by sending tornadoes through Oklahoma. Governor Goodhair prayed for rain in Texas, ipso fatso (hat tip to Archie Bunker) there’s record flooding in Calgary.

    God answers all prayers but his aim is crappy.

  • Maybe time for Atheist Alliance of America to have another convention with the Texas Freethought folks. When we were there in 2011 they got the first rain (make that monsoon) in Months! So bad that they cancelled my return flight out of Houston.

  • Synfandel

    Governor Goodhair prayed for rain in Texas, ipso fatso (hat tip to Archie Bunker) there’s record flooding in Calgary.

    God’s mistake is understandable. Calgary does look at bit like Austin.

  • Ed, you are a fool to think prayer does not work! Obviously, if they did not pray, the drought would not only get much worse, the ground would open and volcanoes would erupt across the state. Only by praying, do these things not happen. It is so obvious, how can you NOT see it??!

  • Chiroptera

    John Pieret, #6:

    Maybe they just need to shout louder. Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.

  • fireweaver

    Houston Texas, 2011-10-09, Last day of the Texas Freethought Convention: It rained like a cow pissing on a flat rock. The irony of it all was delicious.

  • John Pieret


    Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.

    Naw, it’s his son that forgot to set the alarm clock to get up and come back to Earth for his appointment.

  • To paraphrase Dan Barker:

    Gov. Perry prays for precipitation,

    and he says, “In God We Trust.”

    to put an end to the drought

    that dried their crops out,

    but all his prayers turned to dust.

    The next time he needs some assistance,

    he should take the advice of Mark Twain,

    who said, “It’s better to check the weather report

    before you pray for rain.”

  • busterggi

    Why Perry’s prayers haven’t failed yet – any rain within the next 10,000 years will be taken as proof that they were answered.

  • Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu


    June 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm (UTC -4)

    Houston Texas, 2011-10-09, Last day of the Texas Freethought Convention: It rained like a cow pissing on a flat rock. The irony of it all was delicious.

    Dallas Texas same day, Tim Minchin’s concert. Started pouring the second the concert ended.

    I don’t think I will ever stop being amused by that.

  • sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d

    It could have been worse. His prayers might have been answered.

    There was once a drought in Wales. In the end the churches gathered and prayed for rain, and rain it did. It rained and it rained and it rained. It rained so much that they had to pray for the rain to stop. The strictest priest of them all led the prayers.

    “Lord” he said, “We prayed for rain and you gave us rain, and heartily thankful we are, Lord, but, in the name of Christ, will you show a bit of common sense and have a sense of proportion next time?”

  • shouldbeworking

    The freeway in Edmonton was closed for a while due to flooding. Rick’s gawd has bloody awful aim.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Eventually the rain will come, and then the grass will grow, and then you’ll have bush fires.

    Making a deal with god is like making a deal with the devil – it always goes cunt up at the finish.

  • Francisco Bacopa

    In southeast Texas the drought ended in the fall of 2011 when PZ. Dawkins, and Hitchens in his last public appearance cane to the Texas Freethought Convention. It rained the night Hitchens spoke for the last time, and has been raining fairly well ever since.

    Hitchens died in Houston at MD Anderson Cancer Center a few weeks later. Maybe the parts of Texas that don’t get rain need to be awesome enough that a secular leader would choose to die there. But we got our rain

    Perry’s prayer rally gave us no rain. Hitchens’ last speech gave us rain.

  • bad Jim

    Bacopa, that’s actually not very encouraging. The sacrifice of Hitchens may have ended the last drought, but before we sacrifice Dawkins or Myers we need to consider whether Texas is worth it.